The Miami Herald / Associated Press, May 30, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Federal health regulators are allowing imports from overseas of critical intravenous drugs used to nourish premature infants, amid a shortage that has affected hospitals nationwide. The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday new supplies of drugs used in total parenteral nutrition, a ubiquitous hospital staple, will be available to U.S. patients this week. The injectable formula is used to feed newborn infants, cancer patients and other vulnerable groups who are unable to eat or drink by mouth. "If they cannot eat anything by mouth they have to be provided intravenous nutrition or they'll starve to death in a very short period of time," said Jay Mirtallo, professor of clinical pharmacy at Ohio State University.

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